So you now realize that partying during college wasn’t such a wise move. And you need to tell the adcom what was the dealio with your grades.
Here’s what one Brave Supplicant put together as an optional essay around low GPA – names of specific things BSer was involved with have been changed to protect anonymity:
At [university name], I was heavily involved in student activities and leadership. In addition to founding Beat, I lead marketing efforts for Purple Emo, headed several debating clubs, and was selected by my class and faculty to head full-time recruitment for [university] as a representative for mechanical engineers. In my final year, I co-founded a startup, Green Chai Media, and served as its business development and marketing head. Seeing an invaluable market opportunity in the growing online space we worked to make Green Chai a success and put tremendous effort in partnering with [media outlets], looking for capital and developing the business plan, but were beaten out by a very well funded and dominant player.
Although the startup and my leadership experiences taught me many valuable lessons in teamwork, perseverance, and business intelligence, I learnt the very important lesson of maintaining balance. Through all my responsibilities, I lost academic focus and my grades suffered. Thus, I do not view my undergraduate performance as an accurate representation of my academic abilities. My recent GMAT score of 700 is a better reflection of my potential to succeed in an academic setting while working in a analytical and complex job and I hope to prove this by becoming a [scholar program] at [top bschool] while being active outside the classroom and engaging with the community. [Bschool] has been my dream destination and I’m sure that I can achieve my goals by benefiting from its enriching program.
Here’s what we think:
1. Explain in the first sentence why you’re writing this essay – what issue are you addressing? Don’t make the reader wonder what your point is.
2. What is Beat? What is Purple Emo? Your reader won’t have a clue – need to explain/briefly define else you risk not making any sense.
3. Watch for typos – it should be “led” not “lead”
4. If you’re using the argument “Hey I was involved in all these other cool things and that’s why my academic record sucks” then you might want to quantify exactly how much time you spent – particularly on the startup. Also, WHEN did the startup fail? And make sure that the facts you present here match up to reality – if your grades were equally weak throughout the entire undergrad experience, then this isn’t really that strong of an argument to make. If your grades were pretty good for the first year or so and then they went down after you began with Green Chai, then it is more legitimate. The adcom will match up the pieces of your story, so this is just a warning about making sure things line up!
5. This might be OK but… we have to point out that if you’re claiming that this experience taught you about balance, then the very best way to prove that is to have something else to point to. Have you gotten any difficult industry certifications where you had to study hard and pass a challenging test? Have you taken any classes while holding down a job? Have you done any community projects while working, and been able to succeed in both? If you’re claiming that you learned a lesson — this is true in any essay, not just this one about grades — then the best way to prove it is to offer a quick example of how you applied that learning somewhere else in your life, and were successful. That’s how to make a decent essay really great, and to convince the reader that you’re legit with where you’re coming from. (And obviously, you know we have to say it somewhere in this post, the best way to offset a low GPA is to take a class and do well in it.)
6. Finally – this sentence in paragraph 2:
Thus, I do not view my undergraduate performance as an accurate representation of my academic abilities
DUDE, HAVE YOU NOT READ THE ESSAYSNARK BLOG???? Read this. Don’t say that. 🙂
You do need to acknowledge the low academics in an optional essay, but you probably need to give the adcom a little more in order to believe in you.
We wrote twoposts on this in late September, targeted exactly to this situation, so hopefully anyone wondering how to handle it have already found what they need here.
Filed Under: low GPA, optional essay
If you’re wondering how to explain low GPA to graduate school then this sample page is exactly for you as your personal statement could be the last document allowing you to reanimate your chances to success.
It is true that it is very difficult to be accepted into a top graduate program with a GPA average that is less than 3.0. The average GPA for colleges or university admission is established by the institution, as a rule, it is higher than a 3.0. Typically a 3.5-4.0 GPA, which means in order to get into top universities you need to have A or A+ grade, only less selective colleges establish the entering GPA around 2.0. If you’re struggling with understanding your GPA level here’s the hint. The top A or A+ grade corresponds to the 4.0 GPA, meaning you doing great, B+ which equals 3.3. means you’re still ok and finally B (3.0) and lower means you’re into slippery position because the competition is going to be tough and the positions for the best ones will be limited. This is the standard scale at most colleges, and many high schools use it.
image credit: pinterest.com
In the statistics on the right you can see that even students with GPA lower than 3.0 get accepted by the top universities like Chicago University, Columbia, Harvard. We have written applications letters for students with low GPA, such as between 2.0 and 2.5 and they have been successful in their endeavors. The secret is to ensure that you focus on the reasons for your low GPA. Writing personal statement you must address the issue and prove to the admissions committee that you do have what it takes to succeed in the program. It is difficult but not impossible, below you can see a sample letter explaining low GPAd how to write it correctly.
Melissa, Personal Statement Writer
Low GPA Personal Statement: How Our Best Writer Deals with It?
Already helped dozens of students with low GPA rate to overcome the admission barriers. With the help of 10 years experience in the academic field, working as a teacher, Melissa manages to combine the teaching practice with professional writing. Thus, her accomplishments include ober 5 published books and 7 topics for magazines such as Law and Order, Law Enforcement Technology, The Mailbox and Childrens’ Ministry Magazine. Holding a degree in Online Journalism from the University of Massachusetts and the Early Childhood Education degree from Stratford Career Institute she knows how to write a truly persuasive personal statement. Melissa’s rich experience as a teacher helps her in completing persuasive personal statement as she has seen various cases, students and is familiar with academic life and committees mindset like no one else.
Here’s what Melissa says:
I always ask the client to send a list of reasons for the low GPA. It is important to focus on the letter explaining low GPA that will have the greatest impact on the reader and help to elicit feelings of empathy with you. Some of the reasons that get the best results are relating stories of great difficulty such as illness, family problems and financial problems that caused you to have to work full time in addition to attending classes. After reviewing the client’s transcript and receiving the reasons for the lower grades I then begin writing the low GPA essay. – Melissa
It is important that your low GPA letter demonstrates without any shadow of doubt that the reasons you have a low GPA have nothing to do with a lack of ability. You will be up against fierce competition when you apply for graduate programs so you so have to stand out in the low GPA personal statement. One of the best ways to do this is to be completely honest with the admissions committee. By displaying honesty the reader will be able to see your character showing through the low GPA letter that you submit.
Melissa knows how to focus on language and facts so that they make a path to the right direction and pick the words so that they could express the ideas in the best light. That’s is exactly why you can expect best work from Melissa, including creative writing, cover letters, crafting an impeccable personal statement, press releases, and a bunch of other documents. Even if you are in need of a friendly and professional advice Melissa is able to devote a piece of her time for your special case because she takes pride in how brilliant and strong your personal statement can turn with her help. Melissa has worked in the variety of fields, including criminal justice, academia, medical professionals, and multiple businesses and will be happy to help you along the way to your dream.
Benefits of Having a Third Party Write a Low GPA Personal Statement
Writing a letter explaining why you have a low GPA is very personal so you may wonder why it is a good idea to come to me to do the writing for you. You are too close to the situation to be able to approach it in the right manner. When I write the letter of intent I will do so as if you were writing it but I am able to step back from the situation and write to the readers for you.
Essay explaining low GPA doesn’t always have to be special or stand out in the crowd sometimes it just has to be persuasive and credible enough to deliver your circumstances and make the committee believe you deserve to be on the course. Low GPA personal statement might be your last chance to get noticed and strengthen your academic position.
Tips on how to explain low GPA in your personal statement:
- Financial Problems. If you come from the poor family and the fact can be officially proven you can mention the fact in the personal statement.
- Health Condition. If you have certain physical or mental impairments that can be duly proved by certain documents you have the right to mention them as the causes of your low GPA.
- Personal Problems (Family). If you had personal or family problems while studying mention them in your application, you should not shy out of the fact that f.g one of your family members needed an extra care that consumed your time or you were trapped in other types of circumstances that limited the time for studying.
- Use good grades in major subjects that can alleviate the bad GPA.For instance, the fact that you had lower grades in mathematics you can neutralize with mentioning the good grades in literature or English, etc.
- Emphasize your work history. Write that you had to work hard while studying and mention the workplace to prove that you have a decent excuse.
- In case you didn’t have serious health, financial and/or family/personal problems it’s always a better approach to stop making excuses and appeal to the recent achievements: your most recent studying progress (may be proven with certificates, grades), recent successfully accomplished programs, successfully performances on certain job positions.
Even though at the first sight explaining bad grades in personal statement might seem unprofessional it is a true practice that takes place in various universities because some students due to their physical conditions, state of health couldn’t make it through. Here you go a few tips for your personal statement help. Go ahead and use them!